Intensive care capacity expanded by 9 percent from today
Due to the increase in severe coronavirus cases, Dutch hospitals will increase the number of intensive care beds to 1,250 from Monday. Hospitals must provide those beds, so they must scale down other care. A spokesperson for the National Coordination Center for Patient Distribution (LCPS) called this "very painful" last week.
The number of patients in the ICUs must always remain well below the maximum capacity. There must always be at least 188 beds available for emergency admissions. That number has not been achieved this past period. So far, hospitals have had a total of about 1,150 intensive care beds, sometimes more, sometimes less.
Expanding the number of ICU beds to 1,250 means that caregivers will be taken away from other tasks. The Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) reported last week that one in three hospitals could no longer provide scheduled care at all. This includes things like knee and hip operations. Also, nearly a third of hospitals cannot consistently deliver critical scheduled care as planned. "This means that heart operations or cancer treatments are postponed once or sometimes several times."
Reporting by ANP